|Page 6 of 8:||       |
|Index||72 reviews in total|
Based on Broadway musical, Rose Hovick (Rosalind Russell) is a stage
mom from hell. Her daughter Louise (Natalie Wood) is a shy dutiful
wallflower. Her younger daughter June is the bubbly blonde star of the
show. Herbie Sommers (Karl Malden) becomes their manager who is ever
hopeful to marry Rose. When June finally runs off to get marry at 13,
Rose refuses to settle down and sets Louise up as the new star. They
end up broke and stranded at a burlesque show. At first Rose refuses to
let her daughter to lower herself to burlesque. However when she's
faced with settling down with Herbie, she jumps at the chance to push
her daughter on the road to becoming big burlesque star Gypsy Rose.
I find most of the songs are very Broadway. Rosalind Russell's singing is dubbed, and the result is unsatisfying. Of course, the big song is 'Everything's Coming Up Roses'.
Rose is a tough character to take. I guess that's the point. The start with the daughters as little girls is sometimes fun. However the middle is a little extended. This is probably where the long running time of 143 minutes could have been trimmed. When they get to the burlesque, the movie gets dramatic and good. However the ending is a little bit abrupt and too happy. The story seems to be begging for a more powerful outburst from Louise to finally break off with her mother.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Like Funny Girl (and even Xanadu!) sometimes the musical score outshines the movie! Natalie Wood "barely" has the cleavage to pull-off the finale and I suspect the costume could stand up by itself. Rosalind Russell has the comic timing but thank God she was dubbed. (Tone-deaf) Karl Malden plays the long-suffering manager but some of "the book" is just too long and draggy. (A song "standard" "Together Wherever We Go" is cut from the film due to lackluster staging. Somehow, The direction by Mervin LeRoy and the Stephen Sondheim score manage to rise above it all and save the film. "Let Me Entertain You" becomes an annoying broken-record of-a-song until the finale. Louise (Natale) and Tulsa, one of the "Newsboys" do a knock-out song and dance number "All I Need is the Girl" which is a showstopper. This movie reminds me a lot of "The Seven Foys", so fictionalized that it's like watching "The Sound of Music". Entertaining, but certainly not true-to-life, as the real Rose was much worse than depicted. Good performance by Natale and an otherwise engaging cast. "Everything's Coming Up Roses" is still an iconic song, regardless of who sings it!
'Gypsy' starts off simple enough. A mother barrels down the stage to yell 'sing out, Louise!' as her two 'daughters' fervently act, sing and dance. This is the beginning of a long and harrowing psychological journey through the minds of people who all have a dream. Louise, the blossoming wallflower - always in her sister's shadow wants to be part of a dance team with Tulsa, who wants to create it. Little Dainty June wants to finally be a Broadway star. The beleaguered Herbie wants to simply settle down and have a home of his home with a wife and children. The heart of the show however, is Rose Hovick. Her drives and ambitions are what moves the plot along, causing the drives and ambitions of her 'proxy-star' troupe to grow more rapidly - specifically..to get away from her. No matter who plays Rose, the character is up for great interpretation. The first time you watch Gypsy, you may think that she's just some lovable, wacky mother who's a bit goofy and just likes to travel and help her kids become stars...even when you find out or already knew the reason she did it. Repeated viewings give a deep psychological glimpse into the inner-workings of how a person who lives through others acts. Rose is very quick, but not quick enough. Whether or not she did it all for herself is up for interpretation, but Rose continues to endear the hearts and minds of musical afficianados because she speaks for a generation. A generation of the lonely, the depressed, the left in the background. That's why Gypsy endures.
Merman deserved to be put on screen and was denied her place in cinematic history. Roz is fine, to a point, but her singing voice and general flash over any subtle moves, both emotionally and musically, keeps her character at a very polished distance. Natalie is the real sore point. She's terribly miscast. The real Gypsy Rose Lee had a body and way about her that, even though she's a young girl through most of this story, made it almost her destiny to be onstage. She had a grittiness that Natalie could never pull off because she's from such a different background. It's like the stripper says about the mother after she leaves the dressing room -- she could have been a good stripper in her day. Well, no, not for Roz and certainly not for Natalie. This production is really overbearing. It has the heavy hand of a lot of money being poured into the visuals and as such you never feel the dust or greasepaint. There's also a stagey feel to the set pieces and this detracts from it being more of a cinematic journey. Still, there's that glorious score. Even though most of the songs are sung terribly, the brilliance of the music still shines. It's another one of those what could have been. Not only with better casting then, but, if they had waited about ten years, they could have used Angela Lansbury as Mama Rose in one of the most brilliant performances ever put on stage. You never hear much about it, but her performance rivaled, and perhaps even outshone Merman's. Bad timing all around.
When I saw the film version of "Gypsy", the song, "Together, Wherever We Go" was cut. Was it ever restored? This was one of the best songs. Evidently, the number was filmed so why the cut? There were other less famous songs that could have been cut. Was there a timing problem? Was the number restored in any DVD version? Is there a deluxe edition? I know that Bette Midler did it in the TV version. Other movies based on famous musical plays also have a bad habit of cutting songs. From "King & I" they cut "I Have Dreamed". From "Sound of Music", they cut the lovely, "How Can Love Survive"? What other famous numbers have been cut when made into a film?
From the memoirs of stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, the Broadway musical became a film with Natalie Wood as Gypsy and Rosalind Russell as her domineering, show-business driven mother. I wanted more about stripping and less about a mother/daughter relationship. Rose was hard to take. Hey! I was 17. What do you expect? The film had a great soundtrack. I introduced "Let Me Entertain You" to the music director of my high school through my girl friend who played in the band. The band used it as their theme song during halftimes at football games. My LP was returned scratched up and with no thank you. Thank God The Beatles were coming!
Even if you know almost nothing about Gypsy Rose Lee, you're sure to
like "Gypsy". It sort of has two stories going on at once: there's
control-freak mother Rose Hovick (Rosalind Russell) trying to trying to
meddle with everything, and there's daughter Louise (Natalie Wood)
looking for a way to fame. It turns out that the road to fame leads her
to the burlesque business. While the status as a musical might call the
movie into question, it has a certain charm much like "West Side
Story". Two songs really bring the movie to its core: "Let Me Entertain
You" and "Everything's Coming Up Roses". And Natalie Wood is hot, as
always. This is what musicals should be.
It's hard to believe that this was directed by the same man who did "Little Caesar".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Highly fictionalized account of the rise of famous 1940-1950s stripper
Gypsy Rose Lee. It concentrates on her domineering mother Rose
(Rosalind Russell) and how she pushed both of her daughters into show
business. One daughter (played at various stages by both Ann Jillian
and Morgan Brittany!) runs off so Rose concentrates on Louise (Natalie
Wood) who becomes a world famous stripper.
It's loud, overblown, too long and really takes liberties with Gypsy's real life but I was entertained. I didn't believe it for one second but the songs were great (especially "Everything's Comin Up Roses"), the production numbers are certainly colorful and all the dancing is good (I was surprised to see Wood doing a good job at one point). The singing is mostly good--except for Russell. Russell herself said she couldn't sing so they mixed her voice with the voice of another singer. It certainly SOUNDS like Russell but it's off tune a few times. By all rights Ethel Merman should have been cast but she wasn't considered a box office draw in 1962. Everybody else sings great though. There's also a show-stopping dance number by young Paul Wallace (he plays Tulsa) halfway through. I do wonder why he never hit it big.
The acting is pretty good. Russell is just fantastic. She takes the role and runs with it. It's a crime that she wasn't even nominated for an Academy Award for this. Karl Malden is also excellent as a man who loves Rose. Surprisingly Wood is bad--very quiet and subdued. Her character is supposed to be shy and quiet for most of the picture but she doesn't come to life even at the end when she's a famous stripper. Supposedly the real Gypsy Rose Lee showed Wood how to move on stage but it looks like Wood is hating every moment of it. But, this is Russell's show all the way and she bulldozes her way through it. It's worth seeing just for her. I give it an 8.
Look for Jack Benny in a short uncredited appearance.
I have hardly seen any musicals and the only reason i watched this one was because i kept seeing previews for it on turner classic movies. The movie stars Rosalind Russell as the mother of two daughters who want to be in Broadway. Russell meets Karl Malden and he agrees to help them out. Russell doesn't have any money and the only one with talent is her youngest daughter. Natalie Wood plays her oldest daughter and when the younger sister leaves, Russell expects Wood to take over. Karl Malden wants to marry Russell but she won't, not until they make it to the top. One thing i didn't like about it was that Russell sang too many songs and Natalie Wood hardly sang any songs. At first Natalie Wood looks like a tomboy but at the end when she basically becomes a stripper, she looks really great.
This and Cabaret are my two favorite Broadway musicals of all time. But, whereas the movie Cabaret creatively took the play to a new level, this is content to be a filmed stage play -- and without Ethel Merman. Rosalind Russell is a terrific actress who tries hard but she is forced to resort to shtick when playing Jewish mothers (see the awful -- A Majority of One) and Mama Rose is most certainly the ultimate Jewish stage mother. Russell tries hard and certainly does not ruin the film, but her casting along with unimaginative direction turns an extraordinary show into just a good movie.
|Page 6 of 8:||       |
|External reviews||Parents Guide||Plot keywords|
|Main details||Your user reviews||Your vote history|